Jaguar's first attempt at a compact exec saloon is good - very good. But can the XE hold off the BMW 3 Series and Alfa Romeo Guilia to retain its crown?
Jaguar XE 300 Sport 2018 UK review
Performance flagship version of impressive Jaguar compact saloon, now with downsized twin-turbocharged engine
Jaguar XE 2.0d 240 2017 review
The all-wheel-drive version of the Jaguar XE gets a new range-topping 236bhp Ingenium diesel engine in a bid to take on the powerful oil-burners from the likes
At first sight the new 2019-model-year Jaguar XE 300 Sport, the model’s new performance flagship, looks a lot like the XEs we’ve been seeing on UK roads these past three and a bit years, only quite a bit cooler.
The sleek, compact outline is familiar but there are attractive new side-sills in a tasteful semi-matt grey also used for the grille surround, the side vents, the exterior mirror caps and the rear valance, giving the car an unshowy but very businesslike appearance. The wheels are grey, too: 19-inchers as standard but optional 20s on our test car. Get closer and you’ll spot bright new "300 Sport" badges on grille and bootlid.
Jaguar is reverting to four-cylinder power for its XE sporting flagship mainly because V6-powered XEs are no longer offered following the arrival of tougher emissions laws, but it’s no disaster. The 300 Sport gets a twin-turbocharged 296bhp version of the 2.0-litre four-pot, whose installation delivers a weight saving of around 40kg compared with the old V6 (all of it over the front wheels, which aids the 300 Sports’s handling balance).